The British Museum

Great Russell Street, WC1B 3DG

The British Museum
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8/10 from 1 user reviews
The British Museum picture

About: The British Museum is the world's oldest museum and was founded in 1753. The collection was first started by Hans Sloane, the man responsible for the initiation of the Chelsea Physic Garden. Sloane's collection had soon expanded massively and needed permanent housing.
In 1847 Robert Smirke designed the colonnaded neo-classical building that became the site of the British Museum. The British Museum has exhibits spanning the last two million years of history.
The interior of the British Museum spans two and a half miles and features ninety galleries. Major exhibits include treasures from Egypt, Rome and Greece. A vast collection of Oriental art from Chinese, Indian and Islamic sources. British historical artefacts range from prehistoric examples right through to present day.
There has been a recent return of the Ethnography Collections from the Museum of Mankind. Some of the museums most precious exhibits include the rosetta stone, Egyptian mummies and Mildenhall treasures.
In 1997 the British Library was removed from the British Museum and the available space was transformed into London’s first glass covered square- designed by Sir Norman Foster and named the ‘Great Court.’ At the centre of the Great Court is the magnificent Round Reading Room where Karl Marx and George Bernhard Shaw studied. The museum is worth visiting even only for these two design masterpieces.
The British Museum is the most visited attraction in London and admission is free.

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Culture vultures: head to London's best museums and galleries
The British Museum might not quite have its foot in the present, but if it’s dusty old museums full of history and wonder you want then it will do just fine. There are mummies and they alone make this one of London’s best museums. It is home to Britain’s past treasures and secrets – who knew learning could be so fun!

Places to spend a rainy day
The gargantuan British Museum requires more than a day to view all its collections, so there’s plenty to keep all the family entertained during a downpour. One of the world’s greatest attractions, it houses poignant items in the history of mankind such as Egyptian mummies, the Rosetta Stone and the controversial Elgin Marbles.

London's oldest attractions
Built in 1753, the British Museum is the oldest museum in the world as well as the capital's most popular attraction. The museum originated as a collection of Sir Han's Soane's 'curiosities', which included books, dried plants and stuffed animals, and grew to be the huge medley of items we know today. Within the museum one of the oldest exhibits is a stone chopping tool found in Tanzania, thought to be 2 million years old.

The Latest User Reviews of The British Museum

User Rating: 8 / 10
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Susie, Surrey
Added: Jul 2014
All In London User Recommended Business
I came here to see the famous roof and that alone was worth the visit; all the wonderful exhibitions and artifacts were a bonus - a wonderful building!

krunchie frog
London Eye

Member since: May 2007
Posts: 2,837
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The fact that all the things that The British Museum exhibits are free to go and look at is fantastic.

My favorite exhibits, probably like most, are the ancient Egyptian pieces. Colossal statues, mummies, sarcophaguses (sarcophogi?), paintings, carvings, ornaments all dating back to as far as over 4000 years ago is pretty impressive.

However, it's not just about Egypt. I didn't have time to check out everything, there is an awful lot on display. But as it's free, I will be going back soon to finish off my visit.

I got around without one of those electronic guides, but part of me wishes I did pick one up. It's all very well reading the plaques, but sometimes it's easier to follow information when it's being told to you. Next time, I'll also go on one of their free tours.

I recommend a visit to The British Museum to anyone visiting London, but also to those who already live here.

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